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Pianist Peter Takács Retires from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Over a period of 48 years, Takács has become an invaluable member of Oberlin's piano faculty


Pianist Peter Takács has retired from the Oberlin Conservatory, after 48 years of teaching there.

Takács, who is originally from Bucharest, Romania, gave his debut recital when he was just seven years old. However, when his parents expressed a desire to immigrate to the West, his piano lessons and performances were banned, and he had to continue his studies in secret.

At the age of 14, the family left Romania and Takács began studying at the Paris Conservatoire. Later moving to the US, he studied at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and received a three-year fellowship for his doctoral studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where he completed his artistic training with renowned pianist Leon Fleisher.

Takács was appointed to the Oberlin faculty in 1976 and has carved out a distinguished pedagogical reputation. His students have won top prizes in competitions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South Africa. They have also been accepted at major graduate schools such as the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and Peabody Conservatory, among many others.

“I'm excited for him in that he can invest more time in practicing, performing, and doing his passion projects,” said Spencer Myer, an associate professor at Indiana University and an ex-student of Takács. “It’s definitely not an end — it’s a new chapter. So there’s a lot to celebrate.”

“He just loves nothing more than to live and breathe and talk about music," Myer continued. “I definitely share that with him. So the connection was there, and I knew that transition from one teacher to another would be totally seamless.”

“I'd like to say that Oberlin's been an ideal place to be,” Takács said. “I have incredibly stimulating colleagues and I have had an administration that's been very helpful and not interfering. You pretty much have freedom to profess your convictions. And the students over the years have been incredible.”

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